What Mountain are You Climbing?
I receveid this 'dvar Torah' (a word [lesson] from the Torah) from a very special Jew. Read it, and then hear his amazing life journey on an old interview I did with him. Also, visit his website at: http://www.ThereIsOne.com/
By Gutman Locks
In this weekly portion of the Torah Moshe gives all of Israel a song that tells of the ups and downs of Jewish life until finally the Redemption comes. After finishing the song G-d tells Moshe to “Ascend to this mountain . . . and die on the mountain where you will ascend . . ..”
There is a strict rule in learning Torah that every letter is crucial. This means that nothing can be extraneous. Each word must come to teach us something or it would not be there. So what is the purpose for these seemingly extra words, “on the mountain where you will ascend?” The Torah could have simply said, “Ascend to this mountain . . . and die there.” “Die on the mountain where you will ascend,” teaches the essential lesson in life that we all die on the mountain that we climb. This means that during our lifetime we climb a mountain day by day. We get higher and higher as we grow more and more. Our good deeds cause us to ascend higher and our bad deeds either prevent us from going higher, or even worse, depending on the deed, can cause us to slip and fall lower. Then, when we pass into the next world we die at the height we were able to accomplish while we were here.
What difference does it make how high we are when we go into the next world? Know that “high” and “low” are really metaphors describing in human terms the concept of spiritual capacity. In fact, all talk of the world to come is metaphoric. Our “capacity” means that our spiritual position in the next world is fixed according to our ability to receive the spiritual light that will accompany that Wondrous Revelation. The more holiness we bring into our lives while we are here, the greater will our capacity be to withstand the Brightness there. If we are used to holiness we will be able to go right into that Great Brightness as Moshe walked into the Cloud of Glory when it was on Mt. Sinai. But if we are used to sinning while we are here on Earth our eyes will squint horribly at the Bright Light and we will be forced away as were the Jews at the bottom of the Mountain.
The most wonderful thing about living a holy life, even without considering the reward that is in store for us in the next world, is that our physical life in this world is better. When we walk with G-d in our mind we walk erect and happy. When we walk with only the physical on our mind we will stoop with its weight. When we live a spiritual life we look for opportunities to give. When we live only in the physical world we look for opportunities to take.
It is a well-publicized fact that religious families live happier and longer lives than nonreligious families. Even without thinking of the Great Reward that is surely coming, living a spiritual life gives us the most joy even while we are here.
I highly reccomend Gutman's book called, "Coming Back to Earth" it is in Hard Cover, has photos, and was an easy read, about Gutman's life as a "Hippie-to Guru- to Religious Jew" and filled with true stories that are inspirational, make you laugh, make you cry, and make you want to meet him! He is a also a musician, (see his CDs) and an author, as well as a master at meditation. He lives today in Jerusalem's Old City, and you can probably find him afternoons wrapping teffilin on Jews at the Western Wall (the Kotel) who have never expereinced this mitzvah before.
Hear the radio interview I did with him loacated here, in the right column, called, "From Hippie to Guru to Religious Jew: "